Ghassan Korban, Executive Director – Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans

GNOEA met via Zoom on Tuesday October 13, 2020 for organization updates and to learn more from Mr. Korban, Executive Director for New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. He provided a status on current issues and the future of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board.  Ghassan Korban Bio

Mr. Korban has led the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans as its executive director since September 2018, this utility’s first permanent head since August 2017 because of his extensive background in infrastructure management and proven track record of innovation. A civil engineer, Mr. Korban served the City of Milwaukee for 31 years – the final eight as director of its Department of Public Works – before heading south to trade snowstorms for hurricanes. He brought with him successful storm water management strategies that could prove invaluable to the city of New Orleans.

In these past two years, Korban has triaged issues that they are faced with daily but more importantly is envisioning the future. Challenges with the current 100+ year system include frequent water main and valve breaks, problems with isolating the issue as a result of no inventory for service lines and problems with accurate readings of the 136,000+ meters read each month. He referenced events that exposed the utility: the August 2017 rain event that flooded the city with not enough pumps in service and three of the five major power generators down and the 2019 T5 turbine explosion which was not predictable and removed 25% of the power generated.  He added that COVID-19 has affected meter readings with a 25% drop forcing them to average bills. They have since contracted a company to read meters. He added that a proactive approach such as clearing drainage canals of debris on a regular basis and the implementation of a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMGP) are in place. The HMGP includes two new 200 feet water tanks each holding two million gallons of water, new motors for the Claiborne Pump station is underway, and improvements to the Panola Pumping station. He shared the master plan that will be implemented over the next twenty years noting that it is a balancing act with minimal dollars available.

Recording and presentation will be in meeting archives


Membership News

Brien Lundin reminded GNOEA members to attend the Virtual New Orleans Investment Conference October 14-17, 2020 as a guest, a $375 value. Interested members can call or email Brien Lundin to register. Brien can be reached at 504-837-3033 or by email at [email protected].

Charlotte Binnings, Town & Country Travel thanked Ron Blitch and Joey Bender for utilizing her travel services and for having the confidence to travel again.

New Member Recruitment: If you have a prospect, please have them connect with Julie Couret at [email protected]

A list of open classifications can be found here.

Reminder: Members are asked to email their Re-Qualification form if they are planning to renew 2021 GNOEA membership. This important information is used to prepare the 2021 budget.

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Upcoming Meeting Schedule

October 20th – Philip Rebowe and Tim Scott will be presenting on important matters affecting your business. Board meeting to follow to discuss the holiday party and 2021 “live” meetings.

October 27th – Lee Zurik, Fox 8

November 3rd – Amy Glovinsky, Bureau of Government Research

November 17th – Stephen Watson, WWII Musuem

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Please contact Brien Lundin, President-Elect / Programs Chair if you would like to be added to the presentation schedule or would like to recommend a speaker.